1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi: Jiro is sweet. Jiro is kind. Jiro is an old man who loves to make sushi in Tokyo. He's the only winner of the Michelin award in a restaurant that doesn't have a bathroom. His apprentice spends over forty-five minutes massaging an octopus for a dish. He's totally devoted to his craft, which is why this is so good.
2. Cabin in the Woods: For one, it's Whedon. And who doesn't love Whedon? And compared to The Avengers, which also came out this year, this is more classic Whedon. Quirky idea, centered on archetypal characters in a comedy-horror genre-bending mash-up.
3. Moonrise Kingdom: I haven't really loved any Wes Anderson film since The Royal Tenenbaums. But this film I loved. What kind of bird are YOU? Also, have you seen our Halloween costumes? Yes, we loved this movie.
4. Silver Linings Playbook: I was surprised at how emotional this funny and dark film was. Not gloomy. Edgy. A lot of life. Compelling love story.
5. Safety Not Guaranteed: We saw four Mark Duplass movies this year, and this was by far our favorite. Guy posts classified ad that he needs someone to time travel with him. Newspaper reporters decide to investigate. That should be enough for you to see this film.
(*Note, we have not seen Les Miserables, Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and many other films that might have been contenders.)